Shostakovich: Symphony No. 1 in F minor, Op. 10
Symphony No. 1 in F minor, Op. 10, was composed by Dmitri Shostakovich in 1924-1925 for his graduation piece at the Petrograd Conservatory. Dmitri was 19 years old at time of completion.
The work was first performed by the Leningrad Philharmonic and conducted by Nikolai Malko.
The premiere concert was held on May 12, 1926.
This work is said, by many musicologists, to be heavily influenced by Stravinsky’s “Petroushka.” True, some elements, like the solo trumpet in the first movement are definitely reminiscent of “Petroushka” but this is probably more reminiscent of the Russian vaudeville where Dimitri worked as a pianist and also as a cinema pianist.
To support this conclusion, Dimitri’s aunt, after hearing the performance of the symphony, said she recognized many of the melodies from Dimitri’s younger days as he would compose original melodies while playing the piano.
The symphony was a tremendous success at its premiere and it is still considered as one of Shostakovich’s finest works.
While the premiere concert was not recorded, Melodiya did record the symphony the following day on May 13, 1926. However, the USSR Ministry of Culture only allowed the first movement of the symphony to be released as a recording.
Since then, the original tapes have been kept in the Melodiya vaults and later in a private residence of a Melodiya producer eager to save this never-before-heard recording.
Last year the recording was given to Classical Music Discoveries to restore to today’s digital standards.